ALBUM: Primal Scream ‘Chaosmosis’


The opening track may have “borrowed” the piano riff from the Happy Mondays’ ‘Step On’ but we’ll let that one go. Gillespie really is digging deep on Chaosmosis and strangely, the air has been cleared. There’s no drug infused haze hanging over the Glaswegian raver’s heads on this record. Could this be a clean slate?

We see the continuous juxtaposition of its dark, resentful, almost mournful lyrics on sobriety, addiction and recovery with its feel good, electro pop accompaniment. The only thing that really lets it down as an album is that it really isn’t coherent, which can make it difficult to listen to in parts; there’s no flow which makes it feel a bit awkward, almost disjointed.

The record’s Second single, ‘I Can Change’, seems to be optimistic synth pop sister of ‘Damaged’ from Screamadelica (1991). Its piercing synth fits so well, whilst being able to sound ever so slightly out of place; something that I notice within the majority of Primal Scream‘s endless back catalogue. There’s always something that doesn’t sound quite right – it’s always a bit spiky – but they always make it work. The song stands well on its own, but seems like a bit of a let down after the phenomenal come back track, ‘Where The Light Gets In’.

Gillespie’s muffled, drowsy vocals are reaching heights not even dreamed about in years. The passion in his voice is really showcased on the only tender moment on an otherwise fast paced record. ‘Private Wars’ instantly hits you with that nostalgic Led Zep feel when you hear the gentle progression of an acoustic 12 string, as Gillespie’s delicate, breathy vocals melt into the background, lacking that violent tremor that usually strikes within both Gillespie’s delivery and lyrics.

But the real highlight of Chaosmosis has got to be the fierce ‘Golden Rope’. Its combination of frantic drum rolls and seductive riffs that coax you in with its explosive synth fuelled chorus, before decaying into a bleak, dismal bridge; Gillespie’s eerie, melancholy vocals, tediously echoing “and I know that there is something wrong with me” till the fade.

This is perhaps, a collection of some of the band’s greatest songs that stand up next to the seminal Screamadelica. And they just keep getting better, growing constantly finding new ground to cover. This is like nothing Primal Scream have done before, so where do they go from here?

Chaosmosis is out now via Ignition Records.

Abbi Parcell